**Round 1: S S P E S F E U O**

I had FESS ("

*Heraldry*a wide horizontal band across the middle of an escutcheon"), SEEPS, POSSES, SPOUSES, and then realised I could stick an E on the front for ESPOUSES.

ESPOUSES is the only eight; the other seven is (not surprisingly) ESPOUSE.

My selection: ESPOUSES

**Round 2: S O D N E G H C A**

I had DONS, NODES, CHANGES, CHANGED, and with yesterday's game fresh in mind found DECAGONS. I also noted another seven of SONDAGE ("a deep, narrow trench, showing the stratigraphy of a site") and that an M instead of the D would have allowed CHEONGSAM.

DECAGONS is the only eight; the other sevens are GNASHED and DEACONS / ACNODES (ACNODE: "

*Geometry*a node [...] at which the tangents to two curves are imaginary and distinct").

My selection: DECAGONS

**Round 3: Target 213 from 25 50 75 100 7 4**

The four large mix provides ways to get to 197 and 203 (and 200), but none of those seemed directly useful to reach the target exactly. It took me longer than I liked to notice the factorisation 3*71, but once I did I was able to find a solution of 213 = (7 - 100/25)*(75 - 4).

After time I managed to apply a nifty technique with the large numbers to get another solution: 213 = (50*(100 + 7) + 75)/25 - 4.

My selection: 213 = (7 - 100/25)*(75 - 4)

**Round 4: P T E B A R U D L**

I had TAPE, BEAT, TAPER, UPBEAT, and saw PREADULT just a little too late. I'm not sure I would have chanced it in any case, but it is valid. After time I noted ABRUPT as another six, and the next morning thought of DURABLE for seven.

PREADULT is the only eight (Chambers would allow PUBERTAL also). The other seven is BLURTED. (In due course I expect both UPDATER and UPRATED to make it into the Macquarie, but they aren't in the fifth edition.)

My selection: UPBEAT

**Round 5: R O L W E A R S I**

I had LOWER, ARROW, ARROWS, SAILOR (except I seem to have written down SAILOW instead; oh, dear), noted LORRIES (about whose invalidity I have ranted several times before), RAILERS, and WAILERS. Just after time I saw WORRIES as the safest seven, and checked up on LOWRIES but LOWRY has the same issue that LORRY does -- no plural form is listed.

That's all the sevens listed, and the best on offer.

My selection: RAILERS

**Round 6: Target 574 from 25 100 3 1 2 8**

I noticed right away that the target was just two away from 576, which is the square of 24. A short while later I had made the two 24's to get the solution 574 = (25 - 1)*8*3 - 2. Then I realised that the standard method would also apply pretty easily, yielding the alternative solution 574 = 2*3*100 - 25 - 1.

My selection: 574 = (25 - 1)*8*3 - 2

**Round 7: R N T I T T I F E**

I had TINT, FINITE, NIFTIER, FITTER, and TINTER.

The other sevens are NITTIER / NITRITE. (I'm a bit embarrassed to miss NITRITE -- I'd spotted the option early, but forgotten it by the time the E turned up.) As an aside, an A instead of that last F would have allowed the mineral TITANITE.

My selection: NIFTIER

**Round 8: Target 611 from 100 75 4 6 8 2**

The lack of odd numbers made this difficult, and I wrote down a fallback 612 = 6*100 + 8 + 4. As I've observed before when there's only one odd number and the target is odd, it will likely need to be added or subtracted. In this case the options were 536 + 75 or 686 - 75. The latter has some nice factorisations (686 being twice the cube of 7), but they also need odd numbers and so are less attractive. Fortunately I realised (eventually) that 536 is 600 - 64, and that worked out neatly to yield the solution 611 = 6*100 + 75 - 8*4*2.

My selection: 611 = 6*100 + 75 - 8*4*2

**Round 9: MOTEL MAID**

The IMM- fragment was tempting, as was the -ED, and between those getting to IMMOLATED was not too troublesome.

My selection: IMMOLATED (3.0s)

## 4 comments:

1. espouses

2. changed

3. 4x(50+75/25)=212 (1 off)

4. abluted

5. worries

6. 8x(100-25-3)-2=574

7. titter

8. (8x75)+6+4=610 (1 off)

9. immolated (6.1s)

FUSSES

CHANGED

50+75+100-7-4=214 (1 off)

x- used two Rs

WAILERS

3*2*100-25-1=574

FITTER

6*(100+2)=612 (1 off)

x

1. ESPOUSES

2. DECAGONS

3. 213 = ((50+4)*100-75)/25

4. BLURTED

5. ALLOWERS

6. 574 = (100-25-3)*8 - 2

7. TITTER

8. one off: 612 = 6*(100+2)

9. IMMOLATED - 1.9s. I mentioned the idea of Geoff self-immolating in the comments of his "Time for some activism" post when the TV show got axed. It's probably just as well he didn't, though it would have meant strong publicity. L&N Spring?

Nice work to get ESPOUSES, Louise. I'm afraid ABLUTED does not get the Macquarie's nod, though.

Sam: Looks like you used an extra L in round 5. Strong results as usual aside from that. Also, only

probablyjust as well? I'm not sure what to make of that. *grins*Post a Comment